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Project Drill

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They read like a thrilling crime novel - but the 500 pages of "Project Drill" search warrants which have occupied much of my week so far are based entirely on fact, not fiction.The documents - released publicly on Monday - disclose the inner workings of a major gang and drug distribution network across Manitoba and Western Canada.Besides detailing major drug buys and sordid murder plots, there are several other interesting revelations about the criminal lifestyle, including:Bikers love their Double-Doubles — Tim Hortons was clearly the favourite choice to meet and discuss business, according to video surveillance conducted by police. The favourite locale is the Timmy’s on North Main.Bikers love Facebook — Police listened in as bikers plotting the murders of two men distributed photos of them, and their associates, which they had retrieved online.Plane goes down, business picks up — A June 2007 small plane crash in West Hawk Lake that claimed the life of two high-flying Manitoba drug associates apparently opened the door for others to pick up new customers.Majority rules — Some gangs require at least four people for a quorum to vote on any issue, including whether to have someone killed. Police learned this during an intercepted call in December 2006. Only three full-patch Hells Angels members were present as they discussed the fate of a rival, so they called up a fourth — who happened to be working on his snow-clearing job — and had him swing by a local hotel room on his coffee break so they could have a vote.Drug dealers pay “taxes”— About $1,000 per month is paid to the upper echelons of the Hells Angels and other gangs for the right to sell drugs in a certain community, such as Thompson.Provincial expansion — The Hells Angels spoke often of setting up a second Manitoba chapter, likely based in Thompson, and of creating a Manitoba Nomads bike gang, especially Portage and Dauphin.Learn the lingo — Among the more popular expressions police overheard were “going racing” — doing drug deals — and “playing hockey,” which is an apparent reference to committing violence.I've barely scratched the surface with these, but trust me when I say we will be hearing about "Project Drill" for months to come.The final chapters have yet to be written on this incredible story.www.mikeoncrime.com

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